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WhatsApp Business, now with 50m MAUs, adds QR codes and catalog sharing

The global COVID-19 health pandemic has raised the stakes for businesses when it comes to using digital channels to connect with customers, and today WhatsApp unveiled its latest tools to help businesses use its platform to do just that. The Facebook-owned messaging behemoth is expanding the reach and use of QR codes to let customers easily connect with businesses on the platform, providing them also with a series of stickers to kick off “we’re open for business” campaigns; and it’s made it poss...
Tags: Google, Social, TC, Facebook, Asia, Enterprise, India, Tech, Brazil, Facebook Instagram


Daily Crunch: Facebook faces blistering civil rights audit

Auditors were not impressed by Facebook’s civil rights work, Tinder tests video chat and a new nasal spray could reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Here’s your Daily Crunch for July 8, 2020. The big story: Facebook faces blistering civil rights audit The results are out in a multi-year audit of Facebook’s approach to civil rights issues. In recent weeks, as the company has faced an advertiser boycott over some of these same issues, executives have pointed to the audit as a sign that it...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Hong Kong, Microsoft, China, India, US, Tech, Policy, Harvard, United States, Ford, Aclu, Silicon Valley, Trump, Bronco


Tinder now testing video chat in select markets, including US

Tinder announced this morning it will begin to test video chat in its mobile dating app with some members in select worldwide markets, including in the U.S. The feature, which allows Tinder matches to go on “virtual” dates when both opt in, will first be available to users in Virginia, Illinois, Georgia and Colorado in the U.S., as well as in Brazil, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Peru and Chile, also with some members. Parent company Match had firs...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Video, Tinder, Colorado, US, Tech, Dating, Chile, Match, Online Dating, Video Chat, Video Calls


Facebook expands Instagram Reels to India

As scores of startups look to cash in on the video content void that ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps has created in India, a big challenger is ready to try its hand. Instagram said on Wednesday it is rolling out Reels — a feature that allows users to create short-form videos (up to 15 seconds long) set to music or other audio — to a “broad” user base in India. The Facebook -owned service first began testing Reels late last year. Video is already a popular way how many Indians engage...
Tags: Google Play Store, Social, Facebook, Apps, Asia, Twitter, Instagram, China, Germany, India, Tech, Times, New Delhi, App Annie, Roposo, Gaana


Facebook expands Instagram Reels to India amid TikTok ban

As scores of startups look to cash in on the video content void that ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps has created in India, a big challenger is ready to try its hand. Instagram said on Wednesday it is rolling out Reels — a feature that allows users to create short-form videos (up to 15 seconds long) set to music or other audio — to a “broad” user base in India. The Facebook -owned service first began testing Reels, which has been widely referred as “TikTok clone”, in select markets l...
Tags: Google Play Store, Social, Facebook, Apps, Asia, Instagram, China, Germany, India, Tech, Times, New Delhi, TechCrunch, App Annie, Roposo, Gaana


Facebook boycott leaders ‘disappointed’ after meeting with Zuckerberg, Sandberg

What began as a relatively small effort by activist organizations to hold Facebook accountable for perceived policy failings has snowballed into a mass corporate backlash—and a rare moment of discomfort for a company that enjoys its status as one of tech’s untouchable giants. As the #StopHateforProfit campaign continues to attract surprisingly mainstream corporations to its boycott of Facebook advertising, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and the newly back-at-Facebook Chief Product Officer Chri...
Tags: Social, TC, Verizon, Facebook, Instagram, Tech, Ford, Mozilla, Civil Rights, Starbucks, Johnson, Naacp, Coca Cola, Trump, Misinformation, White Supremacy


Decrypted: Police hack criminal phone network; Randori raises $20M Series A

Last week was, for most Americans, a four-day work week. But a lot still happened in the security world. The U.S. government’s cybersecurity agencies warned of two critical vulnerabilities — one in Palo Alto’s networking tech and the other in F5’s gear — that foreign, nation state-backed hackers will “likely” exploit these flaws to get access to networks, steal data or spread malware. Plus, the FCC formally declared Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE as threats to national security. Here’s more ...
Tags: Security, Social, Startups, Europe, Fcc, China, Tech, Ceo, Data Breach, Encryption, Cryptography, Palo Alto, Information Technology, United States, Internet Security, United Kingdom


Facebook makes education push in India

Facebook, which reaches more users than any other international firm in India, has identified a new area of opportunity to further spread its tentacles in the world’s second largest internet market. On Sunday, the social juggernaut announced it had partnered with the Central Board of Secondary Education, a government body that oversees education in private and public schools in India, to launch a certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being, and augmented reality for students ...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Asia, Instagram, Education, China, India, Tech, Whatsapp, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, New Delhi, CBSE, Tiktok, Central Board of Secondary Education, Reliance Jio Platforms


Dating app S’More adds blurred video calling and launches in LA

The pandemic hasn’t slowed down dating app S’More — at least according to CEO Adam Cohen-Aslatei, who said that the app’s daily active user count doubled in March and hasn’t gone down since. “When people are working form home, they have much more time to dedicate to their relationships,” Cohen-Aslatei told me. The app (whose name is short for “something more”) launched last fall and has supposedly attracted nearly 50,000 users. The goal is to move beyond the superficiality of most dating apps, w...
Tags: Social, Startups, Mobile, Instagram, La, Los Angeles, Tech, Chicago, Netflix, Adam Cohen Aslatei, Cohen Aslatei, Smore, Boston Washington D C New York


Are virtual concerts here to stay?

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the music industry to experiment seriously with virtual concerts. Historically, musicians and their managers have been careful about challenging the traditional concert model that became their main source of income as revenue from album sales disappeared. Is the current surge of virtual concerts here to stay or will it be abandoned as soon as large in-person gatherings are permitted again and the novelty of concerts in Fortnite wears off? For the middle tier of recor...
Tags: Social, Apps, Video, Media, Entertainment, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Live Music, Augmented Reality, Concerts, Market Analysis, Fortnite, Extra Crunch, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Virtual Concert


Facebook discovers it shared user data with at least 5,000 app developers after a cutoff date

Facebook says it accidentally allowed around 5,000 developers to access data from their app’s inactive users, even though that access should have been cut off. The company explained on Wednesday it recently discovered an issue that had allowed app developers to continue receiving this information beyond the 90 days of inactivity that is meant to cut off data access until the user returns to the app and again re-authenticates. In 2018, Facebook had announced a change to the way app developers ...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Apps, Tech, Cambridge Analytica, Facebook Login, Facebook SDK Facebook Login


Apple and Google block dozens of Chinese apps in India

Two days after India blocked 59 apps developed by Chinese firms, Google and Apple have started to comply with New Delhi’s order and are preventing users in the world’s second largest internet market from accessing those apps. UC Browser, Shareit, and Club Factory and other apps that India has blocked are no longer listed on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. In a statement, a Google spokesperson said that the company had “temporarily blocked access to the apps”on Google Play Store as...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Google Play Store, Social, Apps, Asia, Government, China, India, Narendra Modi, Tech, Tencent, Silicon Valley, Alibaba Group, New Delhi


Facebook is shutting down Lasso, its TikTok clone

Facebook is no longer betting on Lasso, an app it launched a year and a half ago, to take on TikTok . The social juggernaut’s TikTok clone is shutting down on July 10, Lasso alerted users on Wednesday. Launched in late 2018, Lasso was seen as Facebook’s answer to TikTok that’s . Lasso allowed users shoot up to 15-second long videos and overlay popular songs. The app centered around an algorithmic feed of recommended videos, but also allowed users to tap through hashtags or a Browse page of...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Apps, Asia, Instagram, India, Tech, Uruguay, Josh Constine, Lasso, Colombia Mexico, Sensor Tower, Reels, Tiktok, Brady Voss, Facebook Lasso


State-backed COVID-19 disinfo spreads faster and farther than local news outlets in 4 languages

Questionable stories on COVID-19 from state-backed outlets in Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran are being shared more widely than reporting by major news organizations around the world, according to Oxford analysts. French German, Spanish and English news sites see far less social engagement than these foreign-originated ones in their languages. The study is part of ongoing monitoring of COVID-19 disinformation campaigns by the Computational Propaganda Project. The group found that major outlets l...
Tags: Social, Europe, Science, China, Tech, Iran, United States, Oxford, Oxford University, Latin America, El Pais, Pandemic, Russia China Turkey, Computational Propaganda Project, Coronavirus, COVID-19


Instagram’s latest test puts all Stories on one page

Instagram Stories has grown to become one of Facebook’s best products to date. As of last year, roughly half of Instagram’s users — or 500 million people — were interacting with Stories on a daily basis. That’s nearly double the entire daily active user base of all of Snapchat, which first popularized the Stories format. Now, it appears Instagram is testing a way to expand the Stories experience, making it a more of a central focus in the Instagram app. The company is newly testing a feature tha...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, California, Tech, Stories, Facebook Instagram, Twitter Instagram, However Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, Instagram Stories, Stories Facebook, Julian Gamboa


Match Group completes separation from IAC, new board includes Wendi Murdoch and Ryan Reynolds

IAC and Match Group announced that they have completed a “full separation.” Previously, Match Group (which owns Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish and Match itself) was a publicly-traded company, with digital holding company IAC as its majority shareholder. Last year, the companies announced a plan that would see IAC’s ownership of Match distributed to IAC’s shareholders — a plan that is complete as of this morning. The separation also involves a leadership change, with Mark Stein and Gr...
Tags: Social, Fundings & Exits, Mobile, Media, Tech, Nba, IAC, Ryan Reynolds, Match Group, Reynolds, Wendi Murdoch, Barry Diller, Mark Stein, Stephen Bailey, Joey Levin, Melissa Brenner


TikTok is engaging with India over ban and already complies with local privacy and security requirements, CEO says

Kevin Mayer, the chief executive of TikTok said on Wednesday that the popular short-form video app complies with “all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law,” two days after New Delhi banned 59 apps including Mayer’s citing security concerns. Addressing TikTok’s 2000 employees in India on Wednesday, Mayer said ByteDance, the parent firm of the Chinese app, would do “everything in our power to restore the positive experiences and opportunities that they can be proud of.” With ...
Tags: Apple, Google, Google Play Store, Social, Apps, Asia, Government, China, India, Tech, Tencent, Alibaba Group, New Delhi, Reliance Jio, Mayer, Kevin Mayer


Spotify expands Premium Duo subscription tier aimed at couples to U.S., India, dozens of other markets

Spotify today announced it is expanding Premium Duo, a feature that allows two people who live at the same place — say couples or flatmates — to share one subscription plan while maintaining their own individual accounts, to dozens of new markets. Premium Duo is a remarkable concept from Spotify, which it first began testing in March last year and expanded to 19 markets months later. Starting Wednesday, Spotify Premium Duo is now available in 55 markets. The new subscription offering is remar...
Tags: Social, TC, Apps, Spotify, Music, Entertainment, India, Tech, Apple Music, Alex Norstrom, U S Premium Duo, Spotify Apple Music Apple


Facebook bans ‘violent network’ of far-right boogaloo accounts

Facebook took action to remove a network of accounts Tuesday related to the “boogaloo” movement, a firearm-obsessed anti-government ideology that focuses on preparing for and potentially inciting a U.S. civil war. “As part of today’s action, we are designating a violent US-based anti-government network under our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy and disrupting it on our services,” Facebook wrote in the announcement. “As a result, this violent network is banned from having a prese...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Instagram, US, Tech, Air Force, Oakland, Boogaloo, Online Extremism, Dangerous Individuals and Organizations, Tech Transparency Project, Mark Zuckerberg Lawmakers


With advertiser boycott growing, lawmakers press Facebook on white supremacy

In a new letter to Mark Zuckerberg, three Democratic lawmakers pressed the Facebook chief executive for accountability on his company’s role in amplifying white supremacy and allowing violent extremists, like those in “boogaloo” groups, to organize on its platform. Citing the “long-overdue” national reckoning around racial injustice, Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) wrote to Zuckerberg in an effort to highlight the rift Facebook’s stated policies and i...
Tags: Social, TC, Verizon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Senate, Tech, United States, Patagonia, Naacp, Zuckerberg, Trump, Democratic, Tucker Carlson, Kaplan, Mazie Hirono


Facebook says it will prioritize original reporting and ‘transparent authorship’ in the News Feed

Facebook announced this morning that stories with original reporting will get a boost in the News Feed, while publications that don’t clearly credit their editorial staff will be demoted. The change comes as a number of high-profile companies have said that they will pull their advertising from Facebook as part of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, organized by civil rights groups as a a way to pressure the social network to take stronger steps against hate speech and misinformation. On Friday,...
Tags: Google, Social, Verizon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Media, Tech, Unilever, Brown, Levin, Global News Partnerships Campbell Brown, Jon Levin


Facebook launches Avatars, its Bitmoji competitor, in India

Facebook Avatars, which lets users customize a virtual lookalike of themselves for use as stickers in chat and comments, is now available in India, the social juggernaut’s biggest market by users account. The American firm said Tuesday it had launched Avatars to India as more social interaction moves online amid a nationwide lockdown in the world’s second largest internet market. The company said Avatars supports a variety of faces, hairstyles, outfits that are customized for users in India. ...
Tags: Travel, Social, Facebook, Apps, Asia, Europe, Australia, India, Snapchat, Xiaomi, New Zealand, New Delhi, Messenger Facebook, Bitmoji, Avatars, Facebook Avatars


YouTube bans David Duke, Richard Spencer and other white nationalist accounts

YouTube just took action against a collection of controversial figures synonymous with race-based hate, kicking six major channels off its platform for violating its rules. The company deleted six channels on Monday: Richard Spencer‘s own channel and the affiliated channel for the National Policy Institute/Radix Journal, far right racist pseudo-science purveyor Stefan Molyneux, white supremacist outlet American Renaissance and affiliated channel AmRenPodcasts and white supremacist and former ...
Tags: Amazon, Social, TC, Facebook, Youtube, Tech, Reddit, Trump, Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacy, Tulsa, Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, Richard Spencer, Gavin McInnes, David Duke Richard Spencer


Trump suspended from Twitch, as Reddit bans the ‘The_Donald’ and additional subreddits

Two big new pieces of news today from the ongoing battle between social media and politics. Both Twitch and Reddit have made moves against political content, citing violations of terms of service. Twitch confirmed today that it has temporarily suspended the president’s account. “Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch,” a spokesperson for the streaming giant told TechCrunch. “In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments...
Tags: Social, Mexico, Tech, Policy, Reddit, Twitch, Trump, Tulsa Oklahoma, Chapo, Twitter Trump, Chapo Trap House, Trump Reddit


Daily Crunch: Facebook faces an advertiser revolt

Facebook takes (small) steps to improve its content policies as advertisers join a broad boycott, founder Alexis Ohanian is leaving Initialized Capital and Waze gets a new look. Here’s your Daily Crunch for June 29, 2020. 1. As advertisers revolt, Facebook commits to flagging ‘newsworthy’ political speech that violates policy In a live-streamed segment of the company’s weekly all-hands meeting, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new measures to fight voter suppression and misinformation. At the ...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Social, Verizon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Advertising Tech, Germany, Tech, Unilever, Policy, Alexis Ohanian, Waze, Trump, Sonder, Kevin Lynch


Facebook expands its fan subscription program

Facebook is expanding the availability of the tools it offers to help game streamers and other online creators make money. The social network first launched fan subscriptions in early 2018, giving a small group of creators in the United States and the United Kingdom the ability to charge their fans a $4.99 monthly fee for exclusive content and a fan badge for their profiles. Participation in the subscription program was limited until today. In a blog post, Facebook now says that any creator i...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Advertising Tech, Tech, United States, United Kingdom, Facebook Facebook, Jeff Birkeland, Yoav Arnstein, Facebook Beyond


Mobile developer Tru Luv enlists investors to help build a more inclusive alternative to gaming

Developer and programmer Brie Code has worked at the peak of the video game industry – she was responsible for many of the AI systems that powered non-player character (NPC) behavior in the extremely popular Assassin’s Creed series created by Ubisoft. It’s obvious that gaming isn’t for everyone, but Code became more and more interested in why that maxim seemed to play out along predictable gender lines, leading her ultimately to develop and launch #SelfCare through her own independent developmen...
Tags: Apple, Ios, Social, Startups, TC, Mobile, Gaming, Apps, Developer, Tech, App, Code, Ubisoft, Wwdc, NPC, Self-care


Newzoo forecasts 2020 global games industry will reach $159 billion

Games and esports analytics firm Newzoo released its highly cited annual report on the size and state of the video gaming industry yesterday. The firm is predicting 2020 global game industry revenue from consumers of $159.3 billion, a 9.3% increase year-over-year. Newzoo predicts the market will surpass $200 billion by the end of 2023. Importantly, the data excludes in-game advertising revenue (which surged +59% during COVID-19 lockdowns, according to Unity) and the market of gaming digital asse...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Gaming, Europe, Hardware, Tech, Playstation, Asia Pacific, Xbox, Latin America, Pc Gaming, Middle East Africa, Newzoo, Console Gaming, Market Analysis


As advertisers revolt, Facebook commits to flagging ‘newsworthy’ political speech that violates policy

As advertisers pull away from Facebook to protest the social networking giant’s hands-off approach to misinformation and hate speech, the company is instituting a number of stronger policies to woo them back. In a livestreamed segment of the company’s weekly all-hands meeting, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recapped some of the steps Facebook is already taking, and announced new measures to fight voter suppression and misinformation — although they amount to things that other social media platforms l...
Tags: Social, TC, Verizon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter, Tech, Unilever, Policy, Zuckerberg


Unilever and Verizon are the latest companies to pull their advertising from Facebook

Advertiser momentum against Facebook’s content and moentization policies continues to grow. Last night, Verizon (which owns TechCrunch) said it will be pausing advertising on Facebook and Instagram “until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners.” Then today, it was joined by consumer goods giant Unilever, which said it will halt all U.S. advertising on Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook)...
Tags: Social, Verizon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter, Advertising Tech, US, Tech, Unilever, Eu, Policy, Patagonia, TechCrunch, Facebook Instagram, Luis, Sarah Personette



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